When it started getting dark, the Crespi High baseball team began to see the light.
But when it got too dark to see, the Celts found themselves on the short end of a 6-6 tie with West Torrance in a semifinal game of the El Segundo tournament Thursday at Pierce College.
With daylight rapidly fading, Crespi overcame a 6-1 deficit by scoring five runs in the bottom the seventh inning to even the score.
But when the game was called because of darkness after 7 1/2 innings, West Torrance was awarded a berth in the tournament final based on a tournament rule stating that in case of a tie, the team with the most total bases advances.
The Warriors had 48 total bases, Crespi 42.
"It's a tough way to lose," said Crespi center fielder Andy Campanella, who had three hits, drove in a run and scored two. "You would almost rather lose outright."
Southern Section rules state that a game ending in a tie goes on a team's record as a tie. The game can not continue the following day because of the logistics involved with getting the teams together.
"It's about the only way you can do it," Crespi Coach Scott Muckey said. "We don't get to play in the championship game, but we're happy we were able to come back and see some things that were positive."
West Torrance (3-0-1) failed to score in the top of the eighth, then umpires called the game.
Muckey tried to squeeze in the bottom of the eighth by using new, white baseballs. But West Torrance coaches balked at the the idea after the Warriors were retired in order using a dirty ball in the top of the eighth and the game was called.
For five innings, the Crespi offense was mute. West Torrance freshman Nelson Caraballo relieved Brian Thomas in the second and held the Celts to two hits over the next four innings.
Crespi (3-0-1) finally got to the tiring 14-year-old when Tim Mathews singled home Campanella in the sixth. Four singles, a walk, an error and a wild pitch gave Crespi five in the seventh.
Muckey, pleased with his team's offensive performance, was concerned with his pitching staff, which has allowed 24 runs in four games.
Four Crespi pitchers issued 10 walks and threw three wild pitches against West Torrance.
"We've been struggling on the mound," Muckey said. "We're lucky the game was that close."